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Latest Hastings Center Stories

2011-08-09 14:51:47

Study also suggests ways to remediate cognitive errors Concern about the capacity of individuals with schizophrenia to consent to clinical research studies has largely focused on impairment due to psychotic symptoms associated with the disorder. Less attention has been given to the cognitive errors that prospective participants make when undergoing a formal assessment of decisional capacity. In a study reported in IRB: Ethics & Human Research, a team of psychiatrists and clinical...

2011-08-01 19:54:28

In the wake of last year's creation of the first self-replicating cell with a synthetic genome "“ which was quickly followed by a request from President Barack Obama for a report by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues "“ a series of essays in the Hastings Center Report examines the social challenges that synthetic biology presents. Among the authors is the chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, who discusses its report...

2011-07-18 16:08:21

The Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund awarded The Hastings Center a $159,000 grant to explore the ethical, scientific, and legal issues on using animals in medical research and on the prospects for using alternatives to animal models. The project comes at a time when arguments about animal experimentation are changing in fundamental and profound ways. Scientific journals and some biomedical researchers are calling for increased public engagement and education about animal research. The...

2011-06-09 23:35:05

Should physicians be banned from assisting in a lethal injection execution, or lose professional certification for doing so? A recent ruling by the American Board of Anesthesiology will revoke certification of anesthesiologists who participate in capital punishment, and other medical boards may act similarly. An article in the Hastings Center Report concludes that decertification of physicians participating in lethal injections by a professional certifying organization goes too...

2011-05-31 21:16:59

In a feature article in The New Republic, Daniel Callahan and Sherwin Nuland propose a radical reinvention of the American medical system requiring new ways of thinking about living, aging, and dying. They argue that a sustainable"”and more humane"” medical system in the U.S. will have to reprioritize to emphasize public health and prevention for the young, and care not cure for the elderly. An interesting twist on their argument, which would aim to bring everyone's life...

2011-05-09 21:40:27

Medical involvement with torture is prohibited by international law and professional associations, and yet sometimes it is the right thing for doctors to do, argue two bioethicists. Their timely paper in the Hastings Center Report comes as news of the trail leading to the death of Osama Bin Laden points to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who were subject to "enhanced interrogation techniques," which many believe amounted to torture. Despite its prohibition, torture remains widespread in more than...

2011-01-24 18:21:32

Study suggests it may compromise informed consent Can optimism be ethically problematic? Yes, according to a new study, which found unrealistic optimism prevalent among participants in early-phase cancer trials and suggested that it may compromise informed consent. Many cancer researchers and ethicists assume that hope and optimism in the research context are "always ethically benign, without considering the possibility that they reflect a bias," write the authors of the study, which appears...

2011-01-13 16:56:21

Extra large private hospital rooms with plenty of natural light and artwork may seem like unaffordable luxuries, but new research shows that these and other architecture and design features can improve patient care and in the long run reduce health care expenses. They are among the elements of the "Fable hospital," an ideal health care facility as conceived and analyzed by leaders in health care and design. Elements of the Fable hospital are being adopted on the ground today, with the...

2010-12-07 15:35:00

Study finds wide variability in ethics board practices Practices for protecting human research subjects with Alzheimer's disease and other conditions that make them incapable of giving informed consent are widely variable and in need of more concrete ethical and legal guidance, according to a study in IRB: Ethics & Human Research. The findings are significant for several reasons. First of all, the authors write, many countries have made research on dementia a national health priority and...

2010-11-30 22:07:03

Should parents be able to use medical means to restrict the growth of profoundly disabled children to make them easier to care for at home? A working group convened to discuss the ethical and policy considerations of "growth attenuation" proposes some guidelines in an article in the Hastings Center Report. Personal essays "“ including those of parents whose children cannot walk or speak -- accompany the article Growth attenuation is the use of estrogen supplements to restrict a child's...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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